rathole


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

rathole

1. Some dwelling, accommodation, or other residence that is particularly squalid or decrepit. The first thing I do when I get a better paying job is to get out of this rathole as soon as possible. They stuck me in some crummy little rathole built inside of a warehouse in an industrial park outside of town until the heat from the police died down.
2. Something into which seemingly endless amounts of resources, usually money, can be wasted. Everyone keeps clamoring for a revamped public transit system, but the local government has already thrown nearly half a billion dollars down that rathole with hardly anything to show for it. I just don't see the point in pouring any more time and money into that rathole. Let's just sell it for scrap and cut our losses.
3. A topic, issue, or process that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. An uncommon variant of "rabbit hole." Owning your own business is a huge responsibility that not everyone is prepared for. Are you sure you're ready to go down that rathole? Overhauling the current tax legislation is a rathole I don't think this administration should go down at this point.

rathole

1. n. a run-down place; a dump or a joint. I refuse to live in this rathole any longer.
2. n. a bottomless pit. (Typically with throw and down as in the examples.) Why do they keep throwing money down that rathole?
References in periodicals archive ?
Organiser Dan Lynch, who runs the podcast and internet radio show Rathole Radio, said: "We want to give people the chance to talk about what they care about.
One reason for American stinginess is a sense that foreign aid is money down a rathole. Plenty has been wasted, but there's also evidence of what works, such as health programs and girls' schooling.
This was a spot on the 1000-foot level--a "rathole" stope in a continuation of the same large wulfenite seam that Thompson had already worked farther down.
If the back steps away, the LB will "Rathole"--Drop 10--12 yards over the ball, reading the QB's eyes.
Pouring money into such a rathole, some argued, would have been throwing good money after bad.
And as the authors note in passing, the transformation of many urban school districts into jobs programs and patronage systems has made taxpayers and public officials reluctant to pour additional resources down what they consider a rathole.
"When we subsidized Pease (International Tradeport), it looked like government pouring money down a rathole. Now we're getting a return on that.
That being the case, even fewer members of Congress, including senators, see advantage in taking on matters that promise little payoff unless such issues can be redefined to promote greater payoff by catering, for example, to particular constituencies via symbolic politics, pork barrel politics, or appearing as vigilant defender of the public treasury (against efforts to throw the money down the assistance or multilateral "rathole").
This is the case whether these costs represent "money down a rathole" (Randall 1981) or the cost of transaction services.
Or the product may rathole - flow from the center of the container only - leaving product packed against the sides.
Perhaps he was a rabbi but in a rathole town needed a solid job.
In a capitalist economy such historical accounting numbers are irrelevant in private transactions: Why do I, a buyer, care if you poured money down a rathole? - I won't pay you a penny more for it.
"Advised that it was pointless for him to try to match the local coverage of the New York Times because its enormous staff had a man to watch every rathole in the city, Stanley Walker characteristically responded that the Herald Tribune would succeed by assigning a rat to watch every manhole."
In the words of the editor, the two fragments (which have English subtitles, "The Magical Place" and "The Worst Rathole I Ever Visited?") serve as a lyric epilogue to the prose of Danilo Kis.